tv John King USA CNN June 16, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
let's get that word out of our system with the help of jimmy kimle. >> which we've taken the liberty of putting to music. >> weiner. >> weiner. >> weiner. >> package. >> weiner. >> wiener. >> weiner. >> wiener. >> package. >> reporter: as we leave the weiners -- >> do you think your marriage will survive? >> reporter: never mind the marriage, will the press survive? jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." for our international viewers, "world report" is next. in north america, "john king usa" starts right now. >> thanks, wolf. tonight, al qaeda picks a new leader and vows to avenge osama bin laden's death. but first, weiner bowed to intense pressure from democratic leaders who complained his sexting scandal was hurting the entire party. >> i'm here today to again apologize for the person mistake, i have made and the
embarrassment i have caused. i make this apology to my neighbors and my constituents but i make it particularly to my wife huma. i'd hoped to be able to continue the work the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class. unfortunately, the distraction i have created has made that impossible. so today i'm announcing my resignation from congress. >> that fall from grace came 19 days after the congressman initially blamed a hacker for sending a lewd photograph on his twitter account. and it came ten days after weiner acknowledged he did send that photo, as well as engage in inappropriate online relationships with a half dozen or so women. joining us, our senior congressional correspondent dana bash, and wolf blitzer, who was on the receiving end of the lies
over this. weiner finally said, i'm going to quit. but you have new details of how difficult it was and what it took for the democratic leadership to push him to that point. >> just look at the calendar. you talked about how many days it took, really, since last week, early last week, he was starting to get calls from his colleagues. we reported this real time. you've got to step down. it is time. but the leadership really had a hard time convincing him. he was saying he was -- his polls weren't very good. and he was saying that he might have done things wrong morally but not necessarily technically. nancy pelosi said, consider those rose petals to let you go graciously. she and others were very tough on him and he just wouldn't go. until they came out publicly, that is when we are told by people talking to him it started to sink in he really did need to go. >> their argument was individually you might be able to survive but you're hurting us, the bigger family.
>> kept hearing that over and over. not just from nancy pelosi, steve israel, other good friends of his, but even the pretz of the united states in that interview suggested, you know, if it were me, i'd resign. so even though there are a lot of people who wanted him to stay who admired him precisely for the fact that so many others here in washington didn't like him, because he's tough, can be aggressive, abrasive at times, they liked that. they wanted someone to fight for them and i guess there will be a lot of disappointed people in his district right now that he sort of gave up. >> it's our job to cover the news. but both of you in some ways were part of this story because of your persistent work. dana, this is on may 31st, dana bash, ted barrett, an amazing journalist, congressman weiner refusing to answer pretty straight-forward questions about what had happened. >> you say you were hacked, which is potentially a crime, so why haven't you asked the capitol police or any law enforcement to investigate? >> look this was a prank that
i've now been talking about for a couple of days. i'm not going to allow it to decide what i talk about for the next week or the next two weeks. >> defiant. now we now in denial there. an exchange from your interview the very next day when the congressman was saying, i've done nothing wrong this is somebody else trying to bother me. >> we just want to resolve it once and for all. you would know if this is your your underpants, for example. >> the question is -- i appreciate you continuing to flash that at me. look, i've said the best i can, we're going to try to get to the bottom of what happened here. you know, i just want to caution you, and you understand this, you're a pro, that photographs can be manipulated, taken out from one place and put in another place, can be doctored. >> it is just remarkable how defiant he was. i'm going to use the term "in denial." he was lying, first to you and then to you. >> when this story initially broke over memorial day weekend, the fact of the matter is anthony weiner, who has been
very, very accessible to the media, his press people very accessible, they completely shut down. they issued a two-sentence statement over the weekend. a two-sentence statement on monday. that got my antenna up because it was not in keeping with who he is and the way he approached us. the fact he wouldn't answer the questions was very telling. >> i'll be honest with you, john, after i finished that interview in his office on capitol hill, 20 minutes, we took it live on cnn, i remember, got in a cab, came back to our studios, and said to myself, you know, i probably believe that that may have been a picture of him that lewd picture, but somebody got a copy of it and sent it out, somebody hacked his twitter account. i actually believed what he was saying because he was so forceful. it was hard to believe someone would look at me in the eye like that and repeatedly lie on such a simple question, did you send that picture? and he said no, somebody hacked my twitter account. >> if you go back to the transcript of that, i think you will find the one true statement
in there. i think weiner was trying first to protect himself, to try to stay out of trouble. he talked about how he was trying to protect his wife. >> i asked him, who are you trying to protect? he said his wife. he'd been married for less than a year. we didn't know it at the time but he knew she was three months pregnant. it's a heartbreaking development, heartbreaking story, especially for all of us who know huma abedin. >> we don't like to be in the middle of the news but it was persistent questioning that brought this about in the end. thanks for your work on this story. the congressman's announcement was at the same brooklyn senior center where he launched his political career 20 years ago. cnn's mary snow was in the room as she was a week ago when congressman weiner first came clean and apologized. it looked look a scircus in tha room. >> circus is the right word for it, john. much like that other news conference ten days ago, you know, anthony weiner walked into
a jam packed room. there had to be 100 reporters. dozens of cameras in there. shortly into his statement. p which only lasted about two minutes. two hacklers began yelling. anthony weiner read that statement. unlike that last news conference, he didn't show any emotion really. he took no questionings. remember, at the last news conference, he went on for about 40 minutes. and then he exited this building. as you said where he laufnched his political career 20 years ago. constituents here were not as quick as politicians to call on him to resign. there were still some today who would not rule out a potential comeback in politics. as one woman put it, anything is possible but it is certainly not looking very good. >> at both the news conference a week ago and this one, anthony weiner stood alone. do we have any sense of where his wife is? >> we don't. we do know that she was at their
home in queens earlier today. but we don't really know whereabouts. the two of them were seen leaving in a car in queens earlier this afternoon but that's about it. >> mary snow for us. the story from the congressman's, former congressman's district, former district. the interview with barack obama will air tomorrow on "good morning america," but tonight abc aired a short portion where the president reacted to the resignation. >> i wish representative weiner and his lovely wife well. obviously, a tough incident for him. but i'm confident that they'll refocus and he'll refocus and they'll end up being able to bounce back. >> now, congressman weiner isn't the only one who changed his tune over the past three weeks. the democratic congressional leadership and the obama white house also had a traumatic dance formation as this story
transfolded. debby wasserman schwarts is now the leader of the democratic national committee. she was trying to make the case this was simply a manner for anthony weiner. >> i think it's a personal matter. >> you won't call for him or ask him privately to do more? >> i don't do that when it comes to personal matters. >> a few days later, it was june 7, we began to get a sense of how uncomfortable all democrats on capitol hill, especially in the leadership, the senate democratic leader, harry reid, here, not wanting to answer these questions. >> i know congressman weiner. i wish there was some way i can defend him but i can't, okay. >> the white house also was saying no comment at that point. then democratic leader nancy pelosi sticking to the line, this is on june 10th, sticking to the line this is something for anthony weiner to resolve back home. >> i believe that it's up to the individual member, his constituents, as to who represents him in congress, represents them in congress. >> then the democrats began to
get a sense this was becoming a big national problem for the democratic party on june 12. remember debby wasserman schwartz on this program saying it's a personal matter. this is ten days later, a very different story. >> i think weiner needs to resign so he can focus on his family, focus on his own well being -- >> and if the congressman didn't get the hint from his colleague there, debby wasserman schwartz, the president of the united states delivered this nudge. >> ultimately there's going to be a decision for him and his constituents. if it was me, i would resign. >> joining us now from capitol hill, congressman steve israel, also the chairman of the democratic campaign committee. you're at the white house picnic last night and you get a phone call from anthony weiner. take me inside that conversation. >> i can't take you inside the conversation because i'm not going to publicly comment on a private conversation. i will say that congressman weiner and i had several conversations. he made the right decision.
he reached the right decision for himself, for his wife, for the congress and the american people. one of the things the people talked about over the past week was on wednesday the republicans introduced a bill to privatize social security after a month before they tried to end medicare. he realized that this had become a huge distraction from some serious challenges we confront and from important fights we need to have. now that he's made that decision, we can go back to addressing those challenges and quite honestly fighting those fights. >> when he called, had he made his decision because you took leader pelosi off to the side and she joined the conversation? did he say, i'm close to resigning? did she have to nudge him any more? >> he had already made the decision to resign. and he spoke with me. he said that he wanted to deliver that news to leader pelosi and when he delivered the news to me and to leader pelosi he did talk about the fact that it is important now to go back to the issues and the challenges
that this country faces. >> he initially rejected calls for leadership pelosi from yourself and other democrats and a pretty good nudge from the president of the united states that was not directly a call for his resignation. what changed his mind? >> i can't tell you what changed his mind. i can tell you he was very concerned in all the conversation, i had with him with the fact this had become a huge distraction. and repeatedly we talked about the fact the republicans introduced a bill to privatize social security and we weren't able to talk about that bill to privatize social security because there was so much attention given to congressman weiner. now we can pay attention to the privatization of social security and fight to stop it. >> and let me ask you, you used the word "huge distraction." certainly for the democrats in try to advance their agenda. your job is to win enough seats next year to get that speaker's gavel away from boehner and to give it back to pelolpellessy. when you're out recruiting
candidates, trying to raise money over the past couple of week, how many times has the weiner sexting scandal come up as an obstacle for you doing that work? >> the fundamentals of recruiting candidates, the or things we do, it really wasn't that much of a distraction but on the retail level, the fact of the matter is, congressman weiner himself realized that his story had become a distraction from the fact that the republicans tried to privatize social security. and when republicans introduce a bill to privatize social security, and people aren't paying attention, that becomes an untenable situation. not politically but untenable for the country. that is what i think helped bring him to the decision that he should resign so he can get back to those fundamental important issues and challenges. >> i'm getting an example here of why you're the chairman of the congressional campaign committee. i could ask you the color of the sky and you get back to the social security issue. i understand that's your job. help me understand, those who talk to congressman weiner say over the last 24 hours he sounds did i different, a little more
in charge of himself, than perhaps he did a week ago. is that fair? >> that is fair. look, the past several weeks have been difficult for the country. difficult for the congress. difficult for weiner and, more importantly, his family. obviously he was going through a range of emotions over the past several weeks. when i did speak with him yesterday without going into the details the conversation, i think it's fair to say he was more clear, more firm, than i had heard him in previous conversations. >> steve israel is one of the democrats who nudged anthony weiner into his resignation decision today. i appreciate your insights tonight. >> thank you. still ahead, the former massachusetts governor mitt romney discovers that joking about unemployment isn't very funny. perhaps not smart politically either. next what you need to know about al qaeda's new leader and his ideas about attacking the united states. and today, we're re-inventing aspirin for pain relief.
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>> despite having suffered a huge loss, with the killing of bin laden, and a number of others, al qaeda seeks to perpetuate itself. seeks to find replacements for those who have been killed. and remains committed to the agenda that bin laden put before them. >> let's get some more insight from our senior international correspondent nic robertson. what does it tell us, the appointment of al zawahiri what does it mean for al qaeda? >> it means continuity. he's been one of the principal ideologues. he was there when bin laden put out or put forward al qaeda's global agenda in 1998 so he was part of the mastermind of that agenda. while he lacks the charisma that bin laden had and while he is sometimes seen as a divisive figure, he's going to bring continuity. don't expect any change from al qaeda because of this, john. >> when you say don't expect any
change, does that include its targeting, if you will, since the death of bin laden, we've heard there have been disputes among the rank and file and leadership about whether to make the united states and the west a big target or whether to focus more on regional challenges like in the middle east. >> he's going to look to the challenges that the arab spring brought to perhaps bring instability to libya or true news ya or in the north of africa to develop a better foot hold for al qaeda there, in yemen, the same. so he's going to try to take advantage of the arab spring. there's no doubt about it, al qaeda's core set of targets, if you will, is the united states and western capitals in europe as well. why? because that's the real enemy. that was the enemy that bin laden laid out in 1998. so perhaps if we're going to see more debate, what's going to be interesting is how he's going to be able to manage the organization. he doesn't have the charisma that bin laden had to perhaps overrule some of that dissent.
it's going to be interesting to see how he manages it, john. >> should we read anything into the fact that it took so long, 46 days after the death of bin laden for this official announcement? >> security concerns for sure could have slowed down the decision making. al qaeda also has its sort of options if you will spread around the world. it's taken perhaps time to get all their voices in. if there have been dissenting voices, which is quite possible, to overcome those -- those dissensions and how -- and how have they managed to do that and perhaps that's the key for why it's taken so long. >> nic robertson, thank you. senate intelligence committee chair dianne feinstein tells cnn al zawahiri is probably in pakistan but she believes he is not being protected by its government. peter bergen has written extensively about al qaeda. now that the number two is the number one, we know he was bin laden's top deputy, was deeply involved in planning 9/11, what
more does the american citizen at home need to know? >> well, certainly, he's no friend of the united states. but as nic said in his discussion with you, you know, if from an american national security perspective, al zawahiri taking over for al qaeda is good news. he's a divisive figure. he's not well liked, even by fellow egyptians in the jihadi movement. he is unlikely, unfortunately, to change al qaeda's plan to attack the united states but he has inherited a damaged organization. they've been unable to attack the united states in a decade. the last time they attacked the target successfully in europe was the 7/7 attack in 2000. so that's not a very good set of cards to have been handed. >> bin laden had this
philosophical anger at the west and the united states. al zawahiri has a more personal grudge, does he not? >> i think actually his main goal might have been over the egyptian government. in fact, it was more bin laden who persuaded him the united states was the real enemy than anybody else. and i think that kind of stuck with that sort of ideological view. >> he had family members killed in air strikes? >> oh, yeah, his wife and three kids were killed in an air strike in november of 2001. so yeah, i mean, it's actually something that he's never really referred to publicly. he's been asked about it and he sort of waved it aside. they've gone to their maker kind of thing. >> bin laden's history was in the mujahadin, he was known more -- maybe this is more image but more known as a fighter. al zawahiri a doctor. does that matter at all? >> bin laden fought the russians rather bravely for periods of years in the '80s. zawahiri has spent time in jail so that's kind of a credit on the jihadi front.
but he's never really engaged in warfare, in the kind of conventional sense. and i think that's a disadvantage for him. >> the question is he's the new general. the question is, you've mentioned this, how strong, how deep is his army? let's walk over to the wall. senator feinstein told wolf blitzer earlier in the day she believes he's in -- the darker the country, the more powerful the jihadist and the al qaeda presence. you see their affiliates or related groups all around the world. feinstein believes he's up here, where people long believed bin laden to be as well. does that make sense? >> he's incontrovertibly in pakistan. he's preoccupied by matters of -- to do with pakistan, in the same way if you're sitting in thailand, you'd be preoccupied about thailand, but he's sitting in pakistan. >> there are al qaeda and al qaeda affiliates, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula here, al qaeda in iraq here. this comes from the council of foreign relations. they say 50 to 100 active
al qaeda members in afghanistan, hundreds in algeria. al qaeda in iraq, some other jihadist groups. pakistan, 300 plus, somalia, yemen. what's your sense of obviously in comparison to 9/10, pre-9/11 al qaeda and today, it's weakened, fractured. but what about the army al qaeda -- >> the formal members of al qaeda have always been a small number. around 9/11 there were 200. you've got 300 in pakistan, 50 in afghanistan, those numbers are accurate. people influenced by al qaeda's ideas, you're looking at several thousand. you do the math here, you know, in somalia, several thousand people, you know, influenced by al qaeda's ideas. if you added it all up, you're looking at 20,000, 30,000 people, who have, you know, really subscribed to al qaeda's ideas. you know, prance a slightly larger group who are somewhat influenced by them. in pakistan, you have groups
like the pakistani taliban, which have behaved in a more al qaeda-like manner. >> if he's the new leader, walk back over here, is it their trademark, their o.m., to try to quickly make a statement, make himself known, make his mark? >> i mean, they would love to, but their capacities have been eliminated. i'm sure they're planning something now. it's the question of capability and intent. they certainly have the intent. capability has been weakened. >> peter bergen, thank you so much. up next, the latest headlines, including why vancouver police say hockey fans are not to blame for last night's riots. find out who they're pointing the finger at.
bowl welcome back. the former international monetary fund chief strauss-kahn said, i have diplomatic immunity when they picked him up for allegedly raping a maid last month. they came prepared with masks, even fire extinct wishers. four explosions in tripoli, as well as the sound of jets flying overhead. this is the third straight night of explosions in the libyan capital. a picture of the planet mercury. scientists aren't sure why some kind of bright material is
coating the central peaks and rim of the big crater. we. we come back to earth in a minute to lack ook at what's ah for anthony weiner. dr. drew pinsky joins us next. [ man ] ♪ trouble ♪ trouble, trouble trouble, trouble ♪ ♪ trouble been doggin' my soul ♪ since the day i was born ♪ worry ♪ oh, worry, worry worry, worry ♪ [ announcer ] when it comes to things you care about, leave nothing to chance. travelers. take the scary out of life. with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles, enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief to the site of pain.
congressman weiner's resignation today was a stunning fall from grace. the scandal that did him in started unfolding a few weeks ago. on may 27, there was a sexually suggestive photo sent over weiner's tweeter account. it made its way out on to his public twitter feed. the next day, he said his account had been hacked. that was on may 28. on may 31, he was in a heated exchange with our dana bash and ted barrett on capitol hill. trying to ask if he had been hacked, why didn't you ask for an investigation? on june 1, the interview with wolf blitzer. again, denying, flatly, he had anything to do with this. all right, you can't hear the audio there but he's denying he had anything to do with that. then on june 6, weiner's admission it was him and he
apologized. >> i'd like to take this time to clear up some of the questions that have been raised and take full responsibility for my actions. >> full responsibility the congressman took there. that was on june 6. on june 11, he asked for a leave of absence from the house of representatives. on june 13, he was saying he planned on staying. on june 13, he said he planned on staying. the president of the united states decided to help try to nudge him to the sidelines, an interview with nbc news, where the president said if it were him, he would resign from his spot. today, the congressman did resign in a news conference at the senior center where he began his career. >> i hope i can continue the work, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. unfortunately, the distraction i have created has made that impossible. >> that's the congressman today announcing his resignation. so now what?
let's bring in our dr. drew pinsky. let me just start when you saw anthony weiner today, what did you see of the man? he said he was receiving some treatment. did you see a man that was healing? >> i saw neither today. if you remember when tiger woods got up after he had been in treatment for a while, he used a language almost code for us involved in the treatment field, you know somebody's engaged in the treatment process. today, he gave neither a hint of that, nor reason for me to believe he's not. it was all very matter of fact. i didn't see emotional content involved in this afternoon's events. but the fact is, this is a man that is in need of treatment and i, for one, was grateful to see he was stepping down. in situations like this i've been involved with, when someone continues to put their career ahead of their mental health needs and their marriage and their family, things do not go well. >> and so you say he needs treatment. he says he was getting
treatment. help somebody understand, what does he need to be treated for? what does that treatment entail? >> right, let's remember, i don't know this man any better than anyone else who is watching, so i'm speculating purely on the behaviors we've seen and heard about and in cases like this. in my world, there needs to be a careful assessment. a team needs to be assembled. a treatment plan needs to be generated. oftentimes in situations like this, we conceptualize this as a sexual addiction. the treatments of sexual addictions include intensive group processes with other men who have to come to terms with this. a very rigorous program where honest ty becomes a central feature. many times men like this have a very barren emotional landscape, even superficially they can seem connected to their emotions but the fact is there's deep emptiness. some behaviors make us shake our head were in an attempt to create something in a barren
emotional landscape. when these guys look back, they realize they weren't thinking. they certainly weren't think with their cognitive processes. it's not like he's a stupid man. that part of his brain was not operating when he made the choices he has made. he's operating from a more primitive emotional level and all these pieces need to be hooked back together so he doesn't feel the need to evoke emotions through this very primitive and evocative means. >> when we talked, you said you thought it was important he resign because he needed to try to put his family back together himself. listen to what he said today, a little bit about his wife here. >> i'm here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes i have made. and the embarrassment i have caused. i make this apology to my neighbors and constituents but i make it particularly to my wife huma. >> again, it's hard -- we're not in the room with him. we haven't been able to speak
with him. does it sound -- again, sound like a man who's reading a prepared statement? sound like a guy try to find that peace? >> i would say both. i would say here's what i'm looking for, that he's willing to put his marriage ahead of his career, which is what he's doing here. if that's all that motivates him to take care of himself, good. he'll now have the room to do so. again, with a very highly stressful and now, in his case, humiliating career, you know, these public, very public shame that he has suffered, there's just no way he could get better if he continued to throw himself into that. it's too stressful. there's not enough time. there's not that space to do what is really a lot of very delicate work. it's hard to describe how the work works. that's why i did the program "celebrity rehab" to try to give people an understanding of how intensive this work is. it's similar to what this gentleman needs to go through. >> you were concerned he could slip into a depression.
this is a guy who loves the spotlight of the politics. does leaving politic, being unemployed, does that increase the risk of that? >> no, it's what decreases it, in fact. he is now in the hands of a team -- i'm sure he has a professional team that will make sure that does not happen to him. if he continues to put himself out there, being shamed, being humiliated, left untreated and to his own devices, he could very easily end up in a very bad state. look, his marriage wouldn't survive. he'd continue to feel out of control. he could continue to be disconnected from his emotions and can end up in a bad place and suicidal. that was my grave concern but is not now my concern because he seems to be making the right choices for someoneness situation. >> you say the right choices. did you hear a man focused on that number one priority, getting himself well and his family well, or did you hear someone who perhaps was focused on that but there were a couple
of clues some people saw any way he was thinking of trying to make a comeback? >> i did say that. and why not? listen, this is a man who deserves to get better and to take care of himself and he is a brilliant man. he is a great politician. even people who have come out and condemned him such as powers, who was his girlfriend who he had lied to, she said as a boyfriend he was a really great guy, this is not a bad person, and why shouldn't he have the opportunity to get better? and all those strengths i had that made me a great politician, i still have and i left that door open. why not? >> dr. drew penske, as always, appreciate your insights. >> my pleasure. >> take care. ahead tonight, the defense secretary robert gates says farewell at the pentagon. next, a joke and a tweet that tell us a lot about the current state of play in the republican presidential field. [ male announcer ] look at this,
are you a march madness fan? do you also like presidential politics? if so, pick up the new "time" and play a little baracketoloyg. it breaks down some of the lessons from our debate monday night. tim pawlenty tries to move past what "time's" joe klein calls a flinch and the debate's defining moment. he joins us now. i just want you to see this before we begin the conversation. we took your cover and we lake
to have a little creative license here. we took the "time" cover. baracketology. we have the insiders. and the outsiders. if we want to we can move them around. if we score the race as we go, we can move them around and go. when you're writing this story, joe klein, why that breakdown, insiders/outsiders? >> well, i didn't mean it so literally. the art department went a little berserk here i think. i just said that there are two paths to this nomination now, which is something that you really hadn't seen in the republican party in the past where the next in line is always the overwhelming favorite and usually the nominee. mitt romney's perceived as the next in line. but he's playing mostly in new hampshire. where the voters really like serious economic messages that are conservative but not
extreme. they're not as concerned about social issues. meanwhile, there's this other path. and it's in iowa. which has a very heavily evangelical component to the voters there. and that's where people like michele bachmann and rick santorum and several others will be competing hard to be the outsider, the tea party challenger, to the, you know, the traditional establishment conservative insider. >> let's start with the guy you say who by law and by republican tradition will be next in line, mitt romney. he is concentrating mostly on new hampshire. but he was in florida today, having a conversation with unemployed workers. focusing like he vows to do almost exclusively on the economy. the last campaign, people said he was too disconnected from everyday joes because he's a rather wealthy guy. here he is trying to make a joke at the end of the conversation
with a gap of unemployed voters. >> i should also tell my story. i'm also unemployed. >> are you on -- [ inaudible ] >> yes, actually. i'm networking. but i have a particular job, i'm working for -- >> a bit later, we questioned him. and asked him, because the democrats seized on this, they said he's worth a couple hundred million dollars, he shouldn't be joking about being unemployed. he says, i was just trying to be funny. listen. >> i will always make light of myself. self-debra dating humor is part of who i am. we have a president who doesn't understand the plight of the unemployed. >> i'm going to ask the democrat first. i was going to ask the republican first but i'll ask the democrat first. this is a hard one. he's not -- he's probably not a natural stand-up comedian. so was that funny or could he just not even try to go there? >> well, i mean, i'm not going to play democrat, i'm just going to play strategist. i understand what he's trying to do, look like a regular guy.
he's worth a couple hundred million dollars. he's trying really hard. but it's the inauthenticity thing that it fails on him. voters can smell that a mile away. he's having a hard time connecting to regular joe and he's got to do that better. >> erick erickson, now he tries to be funny and a couple of his jokes have fallen flat. what's the guy to do? go with better jokes? >> maybe so. i'm with cornell on with one. figure out a way to connect with voters. i'm with a lot of republicans down in northeew orleans at the republican leadership conference and you're starting to hear people -- i was listening to people talk about maybe having to settle for romney. no one wants to but they may have to. >> tim pawlenty, the former governor of minnesota, said of about the monday debate, he used the term obamney care.
he's been criticized for being too timid. he sent out a tweet today. let me read it for you. on seizing debate opportunity re health care, me, zero, mitt, one. on doing health care reform the right way as test in a minute. it's kind of cute. don't laugh. he gets to try. their exchange during the debate when i was trying to ask governor pawlenty why he made that sunday show comment and would he explain it to governor romney who was standing a few feet away. will. >> why would you choose those words? maybe in the comfort of the sunday show studio. your rival is standing right there. if it was obamneycare on sunday, why isn't it with the governor right there? >> president obama is the person who i quoted in saying he looked to massachusetts for designing his program. he is the one who said it is a blueprint. that he merged the two programs. so using the term was a
reflection of the president's comments that he designed obamacare on the massachusetts health care plan. >> you called that a flinch. you thought it was a defining moment of the debate. why? >> well, it was stark raving baloney. first of all. he was going after romney. and on fox tv. but politicians in the first debate of any new cycle don't like to start off as attack dogs. they like to start off as friendly lovers of mankind. and attacking romney face to face wouldn't fit that pattern. so it was stupid strategy on his part. but i will say this. that erick, you're going to see, that was just the first of many, many, many attacks that are going to come on romney on his health care plan in massachusetts which was the precursor of barack obama's plan. however, it was also originally a heritage foundation plan that
i as a columnist supported in 1994 with it was the republican alternative. >> in the tweet, governor paw lenny said he had a better health care plan. here's one way to look at it. in massachusetts, the percentage of uninsured are 5% of the population. in minnesota, the percentage, 9% of the population. can governor pawlenty make the case, i assume he means he didn't use a mandate which romney used in massachusetts. who wins this one? >> you know, i think this is, this tweet is tim pawlenty's message of trying to overcome this past week and move on. and actually, build ground again. i think he is going to start making this more his message with this tweet and he will have to build up his case that how is 9% uninsured in minnesota better than 5% in massachusetts? because it doesn't use an individual mandate will be his argument. that will sell with republican voters.
he only has a limited amount of time before someone like a rick perry goes in and making his case and making him tone anti-romney wing of the party. >> you can close the conversation. all yours. >> if you cannot attack a guy face to face when he is standing there, to come back at him on twitter, it is doubling down soft. the voters see it. he was face to face. now he will take him on over twitter? give me a break. >> cornell, i would say that most voters haven't seen him. for most voters, this election hasn't begun yet. we'll have 47 gazillion more debates. >> only 46.5 gazillion. >> they'll seem like 47. there will be real confrontations where people take each other on. this will be forgotten very quickly. >> we all learn from every life experience. i'm sure they all learned from that debate. i know i sure did. thanks for coming in. when we come back in, anthony weiner isn't the only one saying
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we began with coverage of a man leaving washington in disgrace. before i go, i want to spend a man who is leaving washington with his head held high. the defense secretary robert gates held a press corps briefing with the press corps today. >> over the past four years, i have not always liked what i read. and like anyone else in governor i hate leaks. maybe more than most. but i have great respect for
your role as a watch dog on behalf of the american people and as a means for me to learn of problems the building was not telling me about. >> gates was george w. bush's defense secretary and then stayed on in the new democratic administration. president obama is the eighth president bob gates has called boss. he didn't win every argument and is quick to admit making more than his share of mistakes. as we cover the failings of political figures, we should point out the examples of unselfish public service and secretary gates is as good as any. his experience as cia director came in handy at the pentagon. today's enemies often don't organize in traditional armies or fly a national flag. about a year ago i asked him about the man arrested trying to detonate a bomb in times square. >> how many might there be? >> there's no way to know. is that the -- >> the intelligence business, we used to divide everything we wanted to know into two categories. secrets and mysteries. secrets were the things that
were ultimately knowable and mysteries were those you couldn't know. the number of those guys is unknowable. >> in that same conversation, the secretary fired back at liberals who believed secretary gates was the reason it was taking so long to reverse the ban on gays serving openly in the military. >> i've led several huge public institutions and i've led change in everyone of them. there is a smart way to do change and a stupid way to do change. this one has to be done smart. >> in his final days, he seem even more blunt. lecturing europeans for shirking their responsibilities to the nato alliance and telling it like when it is a senator questioned the wisdom of being friendly with pakistan. >> how long do we support governments that lie to us? when do we say enough is enough? secretary gates, i'll start with you. >> the first law, i would say, based on 27 years in the cia and four and a half years in this job, most